( – promoted by DocHoc)
If Democrats can’t take back the Oklahoma House and retain control of the state Senate in Tuesday’s election you can expect another year of religious-driven politics that will ultimately harm the state’s economic development.
The Oklahoma and national GOP these days remain dominated by Christian extremists. The Republican business-oriented, libertarian types–you know, those people with whom you use to be able to argue about the economy over some beers–have sold their party out to the lowest common denominator for personal profit.
All the potential GOP-sponsored religious legislation, such as eliminating science studies by mandating schools teach intelligent design or requiring school prayer, ultimately tarnishes the state with a “hick” image. Businesses do not want to locate here. People do not want to move here. The state’s intelligent residents want to leave. It’s the state’s sad story. Don’t think for a minute the state’s most influential political and business players don’t know this.
The GOP needs to pick up only three senate seats to gain a majority in that political body. Unfortunately, that could happen. Republicans already hold a majority in the House. Unless state Democrats, who should be motivated by the historic failure of the Republican government on a national level, can show up in big numbers at the polls, Oklahoma’s centennial year will be a wash for progressives.
It’s true Governor Brad Henry, a Democrat, is almost certain to win reelection against U.S. Rep. Ernest Istook. But if both legislative bodies go Republican, Henry can do little to fight back, especially if he plans to run for the U.S. Senate in the future and worries about making enemies.
If Republicans pick up two seats in the Oklahoma Senate that will mean it will be equally divided. In that case, the lieutenant governor breaks any tie votes. That’s why it’s important for Oklahoma that Democrat Jari Askins is elected to the position. She is running against Todd Hiett, the Republican who led the House majority last legislation session. If elected, Hiett is sure to work closely with local GOP religious extremists to ensure Oklahoma becomes one of the first quasi-theocratic states in the country.
National polls are now predicting Democrats have a good chance gaining a majority in the U.S. House of Representatives in the midterm elections. Some pundits even think the Democrats have a chance to take back the U.S. Senate. These polls reflect the country’s growing anger at President George Bush’s failed Iraq war policies and the growing wealth disparity between the country’s richest people and the middle class
Yet Republican gerrymandering and unethical election engineering preventing Democrats from voting in some major cities could mean Republicans retain their majority. It has happened before. Why do some progressives, who are obviously optimistic about the Democrats’ chances, think the GOP will not take the low road again or that they will be able to stop it? Voter suppression is the GOP’s modus operandi. It’s from Karl Rove’s playbook.
But, regardless of what happens nationally, this is Oklahoma, where the largest newspaper declines to offer real alternative views to its right-wing propaganda. This is a state with a church on every other corner, yet it leads the nation in hungry families and has the second highest number of children without health insurance in the country.
The state will pay a high price in terms of economic development and its residents’ personal freedoms if it continues to support the new corrupt-laden GOP, the party that combines the obvious contradiction of hypocritical religious extremists like Ted Haggard and accused hypocritical sexual predators like former U.S. Rep. Mark Foley with the supposed business-oriented, small-government people, with the supposed “law-and-order” crowd. This coalition of consistent corruption and immorality has failed miserably on the national level. How long will it take Oklahomans to realize it has failed us here and will continue to do so?
Your progressive vote Tuesday is critical to ensure Oklahoma offers opportunities for all people, not just for religious extremists/hypocrites and those people who use them for their own short-term profit. In the words of Oklahoma’s native son Woody Guthrie, “This land is your land, this land is my land.” Vote.